Thursday, March 30, 2006

Antless Logs & Chickpea Spirals

This morning I made "veggie spirals" -- pasta colored with powdered spinach, beet, and tomato powder -- and tossed it with olive oil, garlic, parsley, and chickpeas. Up in the fruit section we have apple and orange slices (now that's an apple that's not going brown!). Over in the veggie department I used a small cookie cutter to make cucumber flowers and spread organic peanut butter on celery sticks (no raisins -- shmoo can't stand ants on his logs). For snacktime I tucked in another Thinkorganic! Cashew Pecan Bar, one of shmoo's new favorites.
Verdict: Even antless, the logs got soundly rejected -- not even a nibble! But maybe I just packed too much, as he didn't finish all his fruit or cucumber, either. The pasta, however, was very well-received. 3 stars.

58 comments:

Cee said...

I love the cucumber flowers, very cute. The pasta looks yummy too. I am with shmoo on the logs, sorry.

I tried dipping apple slices in a bit of OJ and it worked like a charm, no more brown apple slices. Thanks for the tip.

Anonymous said...

How about something Shmoo might like better in the celery - some vegan cream cheese? Pretty with paprika on top.

I ws a little puzzled about someone's comment previously about washing dishes by hand being better than in a dishwasher. Here's what Whole Foods says about that: Dishwashers use half the energy and 1/6 the water of a comparable amount of dishes washed by hand.

Carole said...

I mentioned that our utility bills have dropped by doing dishes by hand. I honestly don't care what Whole Foods says because I've seen my water usage drop by 1,000 gallons per month and my electric bill has gone down.

Of course that may be because I fill one half of the sink with warm soapy water and one with cold clear water. I wash in the soapy water and I rinse in the clear water. Like my great-grandmother, my grandmother and my mother before me.

I do not run the water while I wash, which probably cuts down on the amount of water that my washing by hand uses versus the way that others wash by hand.

Carole

Carole said...

Oh and Jennifer ... I'd vote with you packed too much food. That's more than I would eat and I know my 10 year-old would probably not eat that much food.

But it looks delish as always!

Carole

Jeenuh said...

pasta is filling! i have a huge jar of those veggie spirals, i love them with tomato sauce and veggies. mm

looks wonderful as always.

Jeenuh said...

Also I heard somewhere that rinsing your dishes like carole says causes stomach problems, since after a while youre washing your dishes in soap residue from the dishes instead of in clean water.

michellejoe said...

Oh, who cares how people wash their dishes? Honestly, now...
My family also loves that tri-color spiral pasta! That seems like a lovely sauce for a summer pasta salad! It'll be good for packing for a picnic I think.

Taleia said...

I also love tri-color pasta. Organic seems to be especially tasty.

Are we going to see couscous anytime soon, Jennifer?

Jane M said...

Yeah, I think his little tummy just got too full to eat everything. It sure looks good too! I love that your lunches are so varied and for the most part not all that complicated to make! Anxiously awaiting that cook book!!!!!

EatPeacePlease said...

The pasta and chickpeas probably got him too full to get all of the rest. That's so funny that he doesn't like any "logs" at all then, ants or no ants!

I love your idea for the cuc's and how you are keeping the apples nice with the oranges.

cheekymamaof2 said...

Hey! I just ran across your awesome blog! I'm not a vegan or a vegetarian personally, but i do love to try new recipes, and i have several vegan and or vegetarian friends which I've now passed you along to. :) In my line of work I tend to run across people who are interested in this sort of thing so i hope you don't mind me passing your blog around alot. :) Beautiful lunches! Lucky kids! LOL

Capybaras United said...

Corkscrew pasta is fun to eat with chopsticks. At Takashamaya in NYC (and I'm sure elsewhere) you can get cute little chopsticks for shmoos. Can't wait til you finish your book.

Carole said...

Oh dear, Lord. All of this on someone else's blog because of how I choose to wash my dishes?!?!

I assure all who are curious that the rinse water is changed if it begins to look soapy and no one in my family has been even remotely sick since we switched to this manner of doing dishes.

Can we now return to the topic at hand? Which is of course, Shmoo, his awesome lunches and his very cool mom.

Carole

krispycheks said...

I have to get some fun shaped cookie cutters! You can never outgrow fun looking food.

Catherine said...

Antless logs - LOL! I dream of my child eating a chickpea!

Shelly said...

Fun shaped cookie cutters are the best! My mom sent me a set of them a couple of years ago...cutters for the all the various holidays. They are perfect for making vegan cream cheese sandwiches shaped like pumpkins and christmas trees and the like. Everyone loves them!

And in regard to the dish washing controversy...I've done it both ways...and no one has gotten sick. :)

Anonymous said...

Michellejoe, everyone should care about conserving energy and water. Who better then vegans to be even more responsible?

LadyRachelLynn said...

poor shmoo, didn't like his logs. That was always one of my favorites! Still is. Now I'm craving celery....and peanut butter....uh oh! Did I mention before I was a notorious PB hater until I got pregnant! Still only eat it at cravings....but moving along....

I agree, that may have been too much food. Pasta and apples both fill up the tummys! Plus the pecan bar? That was probably filling as well!

I know the topic is closed, but I agree with Carole on the dishes. I lived in apartments for 5 years that did not have dishwashers. I generally used her method and never had problems with soap residue. The glasses I often rinsed extra well with running water, the rest I didn't bother.

Happy Lunching!

Anonymous said...

I personally can't stand raw celery, but I'm another devotee of the tri-color pasta!

Anonymous said...

Is American dishsoap more dangerous than the European kinds?

I ask because having grown up in a country where single bowl sinks and high water charges were the norm, I never really bothered to rinse at all.

I'd wash dishes in the sink and then stack them upside down in the draining rack until all the soapy residue had run off them and evaporated. Everybody I knew did this (until dishwashers became affordable) and nobody ever got sick from it.

But then, the dish soap manufacturers know that the product is going to be used on eating utensils and formulate it accordingly. You'd probably get ill if you chugged the stuff, but a few soap bubbles aren't really likely to be a problem.


Getting back to the lunchbox, I'd say that it probably was a little too much food, but that it's better to pack too much than too little. Also that the cucumber flowers are extremely cute.

Anonymous said...

Has anybody else noticed that some of the targeted Google ads on the sidebar are a little... off target?

One of the ones on display right now is from a vendor of chicken and turkey dinners!

Anonymous said...

Anonomous from 3:30 AM are you Danish by any chance? I've noticed that Danes often don't bother to rinse their dishes, which seemed very odd to me!

mallory! said...

I don't think I've ever had a dishwasher... apartments in NY aren't normally equipt with them unless you're getting condos, since your management company/landlord often foots the water bill.

My preferred dish washing method is to fill a great, big bowl with soapy water and wash in that. Set them aside and THEN turn the water on to rinse the soap off.

I never realized that dishwashing could be so controversial! ;-)

Anonymous said...

Well we Dutchies don't rinse either. Must be a European thing not to do it.

Coleen said...

Jennifer, you can make me lunch anytime :) What a great blog!
Coleen

Anonymous said...

when i lived in ireland, i noticed the same thing - my roomates washed dishes but did not rinse them, instead leaving them soapy in the drying rack. it used to bug me, actually.

Anonymous said...

Where do you find the powdered veggies? Sounds like a good way to get some extra into my little (picky) guy.

--lemming

Anonymous said...

The pasta comes already coloured with the powdered veggies.

As for not rinsing dishes being a European thing: Finns and Swedes rinse their dishes. Norwegians too, I'm pretty sure.

SDGvegan said...

Ha! I have a kid that I can't get to touch the "logs" either. Regardless of there being ants or not.

Anonymous said...

I agree with the other anonymous that we should all think about ways to conserve & preserve water. Waste not, Want not! I hate to think of a time when we want for water (says this with parched throat!)
Sorry, Shmoo, this isn't the point of your lovely lunch box...you have a wonderful forum & vegans seem to care more. I haven't met many kids who do like logs!

Anonymous said...

Care more, or be more self-righteous? You shouldn't judge others without knowing them! Vegans have a tendency to be very judgemental...

veggiegirl said...

Do you water conservers hand wash your clothing too? Seriously curious...

dollydlux said...

Hi there- I love this blog! You have inspired me for sure. I was wondering when your book is coming out and if you have a title yet. Sorry if you mentioned this somewhere else, I've looked around and haven't seen it. Thanks again!

Jennifershmoo said...

It's nice to know other kids aren't "bugs on a log" crazy, either. I love them, though -- the crunchy, clean taste of the celery mixed with the creamy taste of nut butter, and then little bursts of sweet from the raisins -- mmm!

>>Has anybody else noticed that some of the targeted Google ads on the sidebar are a little... off target?

Ugh! I signed up for "Google Adsense" this week. Their intelligent "algorithm" was supposed to read my site and figure out which ads would be best. For a while yesterday it started working and sending some good ads (Food Fight grocery, soy milk, etc.), but now it's back to "Oprah's secret artichoke dip" or some such nonsense. Nevermind, I'm bagging the whole thing! (grumble)

Starla said...

I love how the middle of the cucumber flower has the perfectly round seed part. How cute these would be for a veggie tray!

Anonymous said...

i would just like to say that i also wash my dishes by hand. it's not really an issue of water/energy conservation (although i can assure you that i use way less water and, of course, *no* electricity hand-washing them). for me, it's an issue of smell. i absolutely cannot stand the way dishes smell when they come out of a dishwasher. it completely grosses me out.

the vegan vulcan said...

>>Vegans have a tendency to be very judgemental...

Wow! These comments have gotten kind of weird and ranty these days. I think this blog is so cool, and I can't understand the anti-vegan feelings that go on here. This is the sweetest, most low-key vegan blog I've ever read, and that's why I come here.

I think this lunch looks delish, and I will chime in that I have ALWAYS loved ants on a log, from childhood to now. Some kids like them, some don't, I guess! I think it has to do a lot with your perceptions of celery in general-- some love it, some (like my partner) would rather eat a bag of bricks than eat raw celery!

Anonymous said...

judgmental = what someone says when they're called on bad behavior.

Jennifershmoo said...

>>some (like my partner) would rather eat a bag of bricks than eat raw celery!

LOL!

Kim M. said...

Peanut Butter is the only way I can get my kids to touch celery.

So we are Big "Ants on A Log" fans in our home.

Anonymous said...

Maybe its due to my southern background, but since childhood I've always put pimento cheese on celery sticks (and still do). I assume you can make vegan pimento cheese, but I've never tried.

Anonymous said...

I love your blog- it's very inspirationsl to me as a mom, even though my family is not vegan, I'm always trying to improve the variety of food that my vegetarian kids eat, and you have a lot of great ideas, esp for presentation. Since I hadn't seen it yet, I was wondering if your family ever eats seaweed or veggie sushi, both big hits with my family. the seaweed sold in sheets as "seasoned laver" is not for sushi making, but is a delicious and mineral-packed snack that my kids like when cut into fun shapes or crushed and mixed into rice, which i shape into rice balls (usually with finely chopped veggies too) if you haven't tried it, it's a real treat!

Anonymous said...

OOOH!! I love this lunch! It looks so yummy and healthy!! =)

URIVampire said...

I would love a laptop lunchbox, but it seems a bit pricey to me. Just curious, what makes this particular lunchbox worth the hefty pricetag? I am wondering if I should splurge!

Anonymous said...

one thing that i've heard mentioned on here is that the laptop set really helps with portion control. i think that is very important, since so many north americans today have such a skewed sense of what is a sensible portion (restaurants that serve burger with 3 patties, supersize fries, and a bladder-bursting soft drink as a meal is a good example). also, with the different containers, you can pack a few different foods for lunch. i know i'm much more excited about my lunch when i've packed more than just a single container of one food. also, it's just so nice and portable. personally, i eat a lot more food than can fit in the laptop set, but it does seem like a nice alternative to just shoving containers in a plastic shopping bad (like i do). last, but not least, it's environmentally friendly (no wasted sandwich bags or plastic wrap) and i'm assuming it's durable. if you can pack years worth of lunches in it, i think it's a good investment.

now, if only they made a larger size. then i would definitely buy it!

Micki said...

I love your cucumber flowers....particularly since I make them for my own son's lunch. I use an apple corer (the tube style) to "core" the cucumber. Then I insert a carrot (its seems very pornographic) and slice it. Then when I cut the cucumbers into flowers they have a pretty and delicious carrot center.

I love your blog, please keep up the GREAT work!

Anonymous said...

i haven't had ants on a log in YEARS, but all this talk about 'em made me make some for a lunch treat today. SOOO tasty!! thanks for the inspiration, Jennifer! TGIF :)

Annaliese said...

Micki that carrot-in-a-cucumber trick is so clever! Maybe you could use a pastry bag to fill the cukes with flavored cream cheese or Jennifer's ranch bean dip or hummus or the like. I bet if you refrigerated it first the filling would be firm enough to slice. Seems like a good healthy but fancy-feeling snack for grownups, too.

Anonymous said...

some of these comments are hilarious..just had to laugh when i saw one of the commenters above saying taht inserting a carrot into the cucumber sounded pornographic..anyways..never been a huge fan of celery..but i love PB..adn the rest of this lunch looks so good! anyways..jsut a note about the dishwashing..i actually had to calculate the energy used between a dishwasher adn hand washing dishes as part of an environmental science test..and believe it or not..dishwashers use less energy than handwashing..and although some claim to not rinse their dishes..just think of the soap chemicals going into your body..dishes were meant to be rinsed..anyways jsut my two cents

Jennifershmoo said...

I've always wondered if those dishwashing calculations take into account the energy and environmental impact of making the dishwashing machines, transporting them, and disposing of them?

Regardless, I always wash my dishes by hand. I just like doing dishes. :-)

Cherice said...

I have not commented here, but have been enjoying this site for a couple of weeks now. I bought the laptop lunch system a couple of years ago and love it except for the little dip container lids which split the first time I used them and the company and I emailed back and forth, but I never received the replacement lids they say were sent. But, even so, I love the system and use it often for myself and my younger kids. My 4 year old daughter loves to look at the lunches and will ask for different things she sees here. My 8 year old is a healthy, but not too adventurous an eater. The teenagers are human garbage cans.

I have watched the hand wash vs machine wash dishes and think that really it's a personal issue. I have a dishwasher. I love my dishwasher. But many evenings I still wash by hand. I live on a septic system and am very aware of everything that goes down the sink.

Great site!!

Anonymous said...

Love the cukes! I like to handwash the dishes and I don't own a dishwasher. Washing the dishes is my time alone away from my hectic life, and I find it very relaxing to do the dishes. Maybe I'm just weird. Like Jennifer pointed out, I wonder if the cost and environmental impact of manufacturing, tranporting, and disposing of dishwashers is factored into the calculations. Also, there is the human factor. I like doing the dishes alone or chatting with family members while doing dishes together. I have fond memories of my siblings washing dishes (and fighting over the chore) while singing and joking around as kids. Who gathers around a running dishwasher for family time?! Anyway, I love the cukes.

Anonymous said...

Dear Jennifershmoo,

I am not a vegan but I've enjoyed your site "veganlunchbox" more other sites about food. I have to tell you that you have a gift wich can be seen in your presentation. You know the stuff and know how to use it.

You give me some ideeas for some recipes, and thank you for that.

Bogdan
(from Romania)

Narnia said...

I like this blog even when I'm neither vegan nor vegetarian. I'm just someone who doesn't like the taste of red meat and was born and raised and still lives in the paradise of red meat, Argentina. Getting easy and delicious recipes without a cow involved is very hard here ;)

And, if your kid likes it... I'm sure I will too. I can't get here many of the ingredients you have there, but some I can find over Buenos Aires' Asian neighboarhoods, and some other times I just Google for replacements.

Thanks for your blog!

About hand-washing and dishwashers... I don't know even one person who has one of those things... they are very expensive. I use a soft soap, not one made for dishes but a liquid and organic, home-made (not by me) hand and body soap. People thinks I'm crazy, but I have a tendency for skin allergies and just take car of hands this way. And yes, I rinse the dishes... even when the soap I use has no chemical foaming ingredients. I hate when I put water on a glass and it gets unnatural bubbles ;)

Anonymous said...

Great site, love the food and most of all, the love and effort you put into Schmoo's lunches. You're setting up a tough act to follow though! It's a looong way off for Schmoo but...I just moved in with my boyfriend and his doting mother's love and care were all too evident. "How do I steam veggies?" comes to mind as one of my favourite of his questions...actually this should go to doting moms everywhere, teach ALL your kids to cook, not just your daughters!

Lucky, lucky schmoo!

Irihapeta said...

Hi Jennifer

My family and I are not vegan, but I find your site fascinating, and often check it out. I would be interested to know what kind of foods Shmoo's classmates take to school.

Here in New Zealand, standard lunch fare would be a few biscuits for morning tea, a sandwich and a piece of fruit for lunch, and water to drink. There might be an occasional treat (a small bag of potato chips, a muesli bar).

My sons (aged 7 and 9) often don't get through all of their food, because they are keen to get outside and play, so it amazes me that Shmoo usually gets through the entire contents of his box.

Congrats on winning your blog award - not surprised at all!

Nix said...

I've never heard of ants on logs or antless logs before, it's just not a British thing... But I've tried them and what a BRILLIANT way to eat peanut butter! It even disguises the taste of the celery, hurrah!

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